The Malcolm Butler situation in New England is mystifying

06 February, 2018, 13:52 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • Malcolm Butler

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to the media after losing 41-33 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. "I mean, we could never make a play to give the ball back out our offence".

Cornerback Malcolm Butler, the hero of the Patriots Super Bowl 49 against the Seattle Seahawks, was nowhere to be found. Butler dressed for the game but did not play a single snap defensively, only appearing a handful of times on special teams.

"There are a lot of things that go into that", Belichick told reporters Monday.

On the surface, there's no logic behind it. Belichick reiterated his talking points when pressed on a Monday conference call about how he felt not giving Butler any defensive snaps gave the Patriots the best chance to win.

"They gave up on me", he told ESPN's Mike Reiss. "I'm sure other players felt the same way".

After the game, coach Bill Belichick said it wasn't a disciplinary issue, and that it was football-related. "I know Malcolm wants to be out there". The usually strong Patriots secondary had no answer for Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, losing 41-33 in the highest-scoring Super bowl ever.

This dumpster fire could get even bigger though with Eric Rowe now saying that in practice the plan had been for Butler to start all week.

However, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that a series of factors - possibly including attendance at a late-night concert - weighed into the move to leave one of the team's mainstays on the bench.

Seven plays later, Foles found Ertz again for a touchdown that put the Eagles up for the good.

"I addressed [that] question after the game", Belichick said.

'It is not often you go to the Super Bowl. Pro Football Focus grades Butler as average this past season while ranking him 51st among all cornerbacks.

For all the struggles the Patriots experienced defensively, the Eagles, right up until the fumble forced by Brandon Graham that effectively clinched the game, had just as much difficulty stopping Brady, who racked up a Super Bowl record 505 passing yards and threw three touchdown passes.

Malcolm Butler teared up in front of the estimated 111 million viewers during the pre-Super Bowl rendition of the national anthem.

Butler is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season and after a questionable decision like this by New England, Butler may take his talents elsewhere.


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